In an announcement made earlier by the Bombay High court, the Board of Control for Cricket in India was advised not to host Ranji Trophy matches in drought-hit areas within the state of Maharashtra. There are several locations in the large state where the availability of water is not adequate to host a cricket match due to the severe dry spell which hit the region earlier in the summer.
Chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak’s division bench was hearing petitions being raised about the concerns over the villages suffering from drought-like conditions each year and were trying to get help from the government. It was earlier decided by the BCCI that from this year Ranji Trophy matches will be played on neutral venues to negate the home advantage.
The BCCI on Friday told the court to excuse it from the litigations as their functioning is no longer required, but the court put down their offer and remarked that the Indian Premier League will be held next year also. An estimated 60 lakh liters of water is used for the ground management to host IPL matches each season.
As per the reports of The Hindu, Justice Chellur said, “You (BCCI) can assist us. IPL will be held next year also... Again, the same issue will crop up. If certain places do not have facilities like water, then, do not hold matches there. As a parent body, BCCI should be taking care of all this beforehand so that the franchises do not suffer in the end. BCCI cannot just lift its hands up.”
As a matter of fact, the BCCI is was party to a litigation earlier this year in April as a public interest case was filed by NGO Loksatta Movement for re-scheduling the IPL matches usually held in summer to be staged outside the state of Maharashtra owing to the amount of water used during the matches.
A total of 13 matches were affected in the IPL this year including group stages matches of the Mumbai and Pune-based teams. The ties were supposed to be hosted in Pune and Nagpur, but eventually, some matches were also shifted to Visakhapatnam.